The Palms Hotel & Spa: Barefoot Sophistication

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By: Shayne Benowitz

The Palms Hotel & Spa; a resort inspired by nature and imbued with barefoot sophistication.

The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach simply hums with Old Florida charm and after recently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, truly epitomizes a perfect blending of timeless nature and nurture.

As soon as you pass through the doors, you will feel transported to a tropical paradise with a soft Palms scent of guava and cucumber gently wafting through the air promising days of relaxation and nights of adventure. Walking into the spacious terra cotta lobby under the tranquil glow of the centerpiece dripping lights like moss from a banyan tree, you will feel immediately in tune with a more subtle - and might I say - more beautiful side of Miami Beach. Filled with lush palms, plush sofas and Old Florida inspired furniture, as soon as you arrive you know you have found a haven you will long for, far after your trip to Miami Beach has ended.

Outside, the lush backyard is like stepping into a tropical oasis complete with a limestone tiled pool deck, enormous swimming pool, tiki bar and organic garden. Walk back toward the beach from the right and say hello to Chance (he’s the red and blue 34-year-old parrot) and Sunshine (she’s the younger 8-year-old blue and yellow), the bright and talkative parrots who have been living on the property since 1992 and will likely greet you back with some bilingual hellos of their own.

As you go past the beautiful pair you will see another oasis in your future; one topped with palm fronds and surrounded by stools that can only signify a tiki bar. Don't let this small space fool you. This is no typical tiki bar where you will find cheap well drinks and poorly made daiquiris. It has quite the selection of top shelf alcohols where friendly and talented mixologists make magical cocktails with herbs from the chef's very own organic garden located just steps beyond the pool. This can only be called the poolside version of Barefoot Sophistication.

    Nature-Inspired

    Surrounded by Miami’s subtropical beauty, The Palms is a truly nature-inspired hotel with their hearts focused on green and sustainable practices. It’s a Florida Green Lodging accredited hotel with a 3 Palm rating thanks to its in-house “green team” overseeing recycling programs and quarterly beach clean-ups that you can even sign-up to help with when you are in town. Some rooms even come with eco-friendly sink and toilet combos where the water you use to wash your hands isn't wasted, but is used to fill the tank below. They don't just talk about being green, they truly are green.

      Organic Dining

      You won't want to miss dining at Essensia Restaurant which has an emphasis on local, organic and sustainable fare. The menu, while not vegetarian, is vegetable-focused, including vegan options. Using fresh ingredients from the hotel’s onsite garden, Chef Frans’ cuisine is also inspired by Caribbean and Latin cultures. This local, sustainable slow food promise is outlined on every seasonal menu with a sidebar naming the farms and purveyors from where ingredients are sourced.

      There’s a classic Peruvian mixed seafood ceviche, which can also be substituted with mushrooms for a vegan option. The kale Caesar salad is a signature dish and vegetarians can also enjoy seasonal items, like a chickpea cauliflower kale curry. Carnivores need not fret. From habanero chili pork sliders from Miami’s own Proper Sausage an eight-ounce churrasco steak, there’s plenty on the menu to sink your teeth into, as well as an excellent selection of local seafood.

      True foodies will not want to miss out on their Miami Spice specials either, from local Branzino to very farm-to-table fried green tomatoes, you will want to eat here for every meal.

        Fitness And Wellness

        The Palms Hotel & Spa, does not just cater to your palate, but also your body with complete fitness room usage included, free regular outdoor yoga sessions and monthly NatuRUNs. Created to energize you for your many Miami excursions, there are two Vinyasa yoga session for all levels each week on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. You will also be able to experience complimentary running workshops each month, led by loyal running and fitness experts. After your ocean-front run is through, you'll be treated to a tasting of a few of Essensia's special dishes that you will definitely not feel any guilt over.

          Holistic Spa

          The Palms Aveda Spa is influenced by ancient Ayurvedic holistic philosophy. All of its treatments incorporate Aveda’s naturally derived botanical products for a nourishing and relaxing experience. Locker rooms are equipped with steam rooms to unwind before or after treatments and the relaxation room is situated beneath a tranquil outdoor water feature. After luxuriating in a 5 step Ayurvedic rejuvenation experience or a deep tissue massage Al fresco in the typical garden, just sit and breathe in the Palms scent while the sounds of the waterfall transports you further into the paradise you have now found.

          The full-service spa and salon offers massages, facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures, haircuts, color and makeup application. Spa-goers can indulge in everything from a chakra balancing massage to a botanical skin resurfacing facial. They also have an eco-friendly, vegan nail care line SpaRitual that you can purchase to continue the spa experience even after your vacation is complete.

            Tropical Guest Rooms

            The historic property is home to 251 guest rooms decorated with traditional tropical décor, dark wood bureaus, plush beds piled high with pillows and overstuffed upholstered armchairs in shades of chocolate and cream with pops of citrusy orange. With beautiful ocean and tropical garden views that will leave you breathless each time you open your shades, you may not want to leave the room.

            The Palms Hotel & Spa is truly a one-of-a-kind oceanfront gem on Miami Beach, perfect for those looking to unwind in a truly sophisticated but calming, natural environment.

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